World Bank remits $80-M loan to PH

Published December 28, 2021, 3:08 PM

by Chino S. Leyco

The World Bank has remitted to the Bureau of the Treasury the government’s loan for disaster relief and rehabilitation in Typhoon Odette-hit areas, the Department of Finance (DOF) said.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said on Tuesday, Dec. 28, that the national government received from the Washington-based multilateral institution some $80 million, roughly P4 billion, in loan proceeds.

The $80 million is a portion of the Philippines’ $500 million standby loan called “Disaster Risk Management Development Program with a Catastrophic Deferred Drawdown Option (CAT-DDO4)” with the World Bank.

The Philippine government will draw another $120 million from the same standby loan facility in the first week of January when the loan cover will be available in the 2022 national budget.

Asked if the total $200 billion financing would be enough following the onslaught of Typhoon “Odette,” Dominguez said “I suppose so,” noting that the Office of the President and the budget department only requested for P10 billion in funding.

The standby loan facility was approved by the WB Board last Nov. 17, and the loan agreement for this facility was signed between the WB and the Philippines, represented by the DOF, on Nov. 29, 2021.

Net of a 0.5 percent front-end fee, the CAT-DDO4 has an available balance of $497.5 million as of December this year.

President Duterte declared last Dec. 21 a State of Calamity in six “Odette”-battered areas: Regions 4B (Mimaropa–Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan), 6 (Western Visayas), 7 (Central Visayas), 8 (Eastern Visayas), 10 (Northern Mindanao) and 13 (Caraga).

To aid the six regions placed under a State of Calamity, the Department of Budget and Management released an initial P1 billion to assist affected local government units (LGUs) in the areas.

Of the total financial assistance released, P207 million went to Western Visayas Region, P188.31 billion to Central Visayas Region, and P171.57 million to MIMAROPA.

In addition, Caraga received P167.38 million, Eastern Visayas Region got P142.5 million, and 122.99 million to Northern Mindanao.